Sarah Palin Gets Her Facts Wrong and Advises Seeking Divine Intervention From God

Sarah Palin spoke before the Tea Party convention, both rewriting history and suggesting that a top government priority should be asking for divine intervention from god. David Weigel reports on how she got her facts wrong about recent election results:

Palin adroitly re-wrote the history of the past three months of elections, giving the Tea Party movement credit for Scott Brown’s election in Massachusetts and calling the White House “0 for 3″ in recent elections–leaving out the New York special election where her candidate, the Conservative Party’s Doug Hoffman, lost in a last-minute upset.

“You know,” said Palin of Brown, “he was just a guy with a truck, and a passion to serve his country,” said Palin. Brown, however, was a state senator and state representative whose campaign staffers cut their teeth with Mitt Romney.

The Guardian reports that things got even weirder at the Q&A session:

The weirdest part of the evening came not during the speech but during the following Q&A session. Asked what she thought that a Republican-controlled congress’s top three priorities should be, she answered: stop spending, energy policy and … well, here’s the whole quote, judge for yourself:

“I think, kind of tougher to put our arms around, but allowing America’s spirit to rise again by not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God fearing nation where we’re not afraid to say especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, where we’re not afraid to say, you know, we don’t have all the answers as fallible men and women so it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country, so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again. To have people involved in government who aren’t afraid to go that route, not so afraid of the political correctness that you know – they have to be afraid of what the media said about them if they were to proclaim their alliance to our creator.”

So, one of the US congress’s top priorities should be … asking for divine intervention from God? “I can think of two words right now that scare liberals: President Palin,” the moderator ended the evening by saying. A brief chant of “Run, Sarah, run,” broke out, although not one shared by the whole room. Proving, perhaps, that you don’t have to be a liberal to be worried by Sarah Palin.

Conan O’Brien Purged From The Web

NBC is dropping Conan O’Brien down the memory hole. Media Memo reports that NBC is removing on line videos of his shows:

The GE (GE) unit has removed every episode of the show’s seven-month run from its site, as well as Hulu, the site NBC owns with News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox and Disney’s (DIS) ABC.

A little odd, given that a couple of days ago, the network was offering every single “Tonight Show” episode O’Brien had taped on But then again, everything about this story has been odd. NBC declined to comment.

NBC–at least, I’m assuming it’s NBC–has also been aggressive about taking down Conan episodes from Google’s (GOOG) YouTube.

Conan’s picture has also been removed from a mural in the lobby of NBC’s corporate headquarters.

The message from NBC is that Jay Leno has always hosted The Tonight Show since Johnny Carson retired, just like Oceana was always at war with Eurasia.

Up2 You + Me To Help End Cancer, Featuring Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons plays 30 characters, showing how it’s “Up2” all of them and each and every one of us to help end cancer

Rachel Maddow on Barack Obama’s Record

Rachel Maddow on  Barack Obama on The Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday:

“The most interesting thing about Obama’s first year is how crazy the opposition has gone in reaction to him. And that’s been so exciting – the Sarah Palin, Michael Steel, Tea Party thing on the right – that I think that nobody’s noticed that he’s quietly put together the most legislatively accomplished first year of any president in a generation.”

A False View of Freedom

Two recent lines used as my Facebook status:

Conservatives and libertarians believe that our health care system makes us more free than the rest of the industrialized world. A system which leads to millions being uninsured and placing even those with insurance at risk of bankruptcy if they get sick does not mean we are more free–it means we are backwards.

If people insist on keeping their current insurance plans that is one thing, but please don’t also block plans to allow others to voluntarily buy into Medicare or a public option.

Arctic Melting Could Cost Trillions

Two false memes spread by global warming deniers is that 1) this is a prediction of future events as opposed to something which is already happening, and 2) this is a view held by people who are hostile to market economies. A study by the Pew Environment Group shows that melting of the arctic ice caps is already occurring, and already costing billions:

Arctic ice melting could cost global agriculture, real estate and insurance anywhere from $2.4 trillion to $24 trillion by 2050 in damage from rising sea levels, floods and heat waves, according to a report released on Friday

“Everybody around the world is going to bear these costs,” said Eban Goodstein, a resource economist at Bard College in New York state who co-authored the report, called “Arctic Treasure, Global Assets Melting Away.”

He said the report, reviewed by more than a dozen scientists and economists and funded by the Pew Environment Group, an arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts, provides a first attempt to monetize the cost of the loss of one of the world’s great weather makers.

“The Arctic is the planet’s air conditioner and it’s starting to break down,” he said.

The loss of Arctic Sea ice and snow cover is already costing the world about $61 billion to $371 billion annually from costs associated with heat waves, flooding and other factors, the report said.

The losses could grow as a warmer Arctic unlocks vast stores of methane in the permafrost. The gas has about 21 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide.

Melting of Arctic sea ice is already triggering a feedback of more warming as dark water revealed by the receding ice absorbs more of the sun’s energy, he said. That could lead to more melting of glaciers on land and raise global sea levels.

It is necessary to respond to the effects of climate change which are already occurring. Contrary to the paranoid conspiracy theories popular among many in the anti-science right this view is not motivated by opposition to our industrialized society or market economies or a desire to control the world, but out of a realization that action is needed to preserve our economy.

It is consistent with human nature to deny climate change and avoid having to take action to solve difficult problems such as this. Conservatives and libertarians have the added motivation to deny climate change because it is a problem which can only be addressed by government and by international cooperation.

Conservatives prefer not to admit that any problems require government action for their solution and would prefer to deny that the problem exists. Conservatives might go along with some big government programs, primarily those involving invasion of other countries, torture, or imposing their religious codes upon others. They are far less likely to go along with big government programs which involve cooperation with other countries as opposed to invading them.

Quote of the Day

“Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money.”
–GOP Chairman Michael Steele objecting to repeal of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy which would still leave taxes well below the rates under Ronald Reagan.

Stewart v. O’Reilly–The Uncut Version

Jon Stewart appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show in an interview divided over two nights. The interview as aired had many good lines:

Here’s what Fox has done, through their cyclonic perpetual emotional machine that is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: They have taken reasonable concerns about this president and this economy and turned it into full-fledged panic attack about the next coming of Chairman Mao.

While Stewart made many points critical of Fox, Gawker compared the aired version with the full version posted on line (embedded above) and disagreed with O’Reilly’s claim that “It’s a fair cut.”

If by “fair cut” O’Reilly means “cut in a manner that left some of Stewart’s best lines, most effective arguments, and most convincing evidence out of the interview and hidden from the broadcast audience,” then he’s absolutely right.

They provided some examples:

Here’s the best exchange of the whole interview, in which Stewart gets O’Reilly to admit that he thinks Barack Obama believes in “tyranny and socialism,” and then asks him why Obama’s most generous spending has been to bail out banks. He closed with this unanswerable question: “How many tyrants do you know that really suffer because they can’t get cloture?” O’Reilly rejoindered with a lame joke about NBC, because what else could he do? None of this made the air…

There were also plenty of sharp points from Stewart that were edited down to, um, duller points. Take this exchange, from the Fox News cut:

STEWART: Here’s the brilliance – here’s the brilliance of Fox News. What you have been able to do, you and Dr. Ailes, have been able to mainstream conservative talk radio.

O’REILLY: Why wouldn’t John McCain come on this program during the last campaign? Why did he dodge us and not come on if you – (inaudible), if we’re in business to help the GOP, he wouldn’t come in.

STEWART: But you’re not in the business of John McCain. He is not GOP enough for you. You’re in the business to help Sarah Palin.